Sand Concentration In Fecal Matter Of Horses From Different Housing Backgrounds Using An On-Farm Sand Sedimentation Test
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine if a common on-farm sand sedimentation test could discriminate between horses from different housing backgrounds. We hypothesize that horses from sandy areas will have more sand present in fecal samples than horses from grassy pastures. Fecal samples were obtained from 30 horses at Tanque Verde Ranch. Twenty horses came from sandy environments (AZ and NM), while 10 horses came from grassy fields (CA). Fecal samples were collected at Day 0, Day 2 of 7 days psyllium supplementation, and at approximately 3 weeks. Fecal samples were subjected to a typical field test where manure is mixed with water and sand settles to the bottom. After 30 minutes, accumulated sand height was measured (cm) for each sample. Data were analyzed using a Repeated Measures analysis. Means were compared based on housing background and days since initiation of supplementation regime. Horses housed on sand had significantly higher sand levels at Day 2 (Mean 0.92cm, SE ±0.12, P<0.002) and Days 17-21 (Mean 0.62cm, SE ±0.07, P<0.003) than horses housed on grassy pastures. This study demonstrates that this common on-farm sand sedimentation test can discriminate between horses from different housing backgrounds.